Mat Ryan completed a loan move to Arsenal on Friday, and he discussed the emotions of joining his boyhood club after it was announced.
Growing up in Australia, Mat Ryan was always an Arsenal fan. His Twitter page is full of tweets from the early 2010s supporting the club, though he obviously had to tone that down after signing for Brighton.
There’s no reason to hide his love for the club anymore, though. Ryan joined the Gunners on loan on Friday, and he admitted to the club’s social media pages that it was all a bit emotional for him.
“There’s still an aura of surrealness to it all, to be honest,” Ryan said. “I’m really proud, it’s great and it’s hard to sort of put into words the emotions and the feeling that this is becoming a reality.
“All those mornings as a young kid in Australia, getting up to watch the Champions League games and all that at four o’clock in the morning when I had school and these types of things.
“The support back in the Thierry Henry and Dennis Bergkamp days…to now be here fills me with a great sense of pride and achievement.
“I’m just looking to do my best that I can for the club and represent the club in the best possible way and ultimately help the club to achieve more success.”
There’s no denying that Ryan has a fight on his hands to try and displace Bernd Leno. The German goalkeeper is in fantastic form and has the benefit of already having adapted and settled with Arsenal.
But Ryan will surely get chances between now and the end of the season, whenever he earns them in training or Leno needs a rest for whatever reason. At that point, it looks like he has all the motivation he needs to perform.
It would be a heart-warming story to see Ryan succeed in his loan spell and earn a permanent transfer in the summer. Good luck to him with the next six months!